Today, as I'm writing this, I'm remembering sitting around the pool at a lovely little motel just a mile or so from my parents' home with TBG and Daddooooo and Nannie and Grandpaw. Daddooooo looked at the leaves on the trees.... looked at them turning over, showing their undersides.... looked at them predicting the rain that would fall all night lonog.... looking and not saying anything.
He didn't want to spoil my wedding day before the weather did.
Of course, my sister and my mother woke me at 6am to inform me that it had been raining, that it was raining, that it looked like it would never stop raining, and what was I going to do? Go back to sleep came to mind. The drama was more important than the facts. What could I do?
TBG called at 7, wondering if I were still going to show up, even in the rain. My oft repeated plan was to elope if the heavens opened, but that seemed like more trouble than it was worth, especially that early in the morning. Sure, I said, and, having inspected the not-as-well-protected-from-the-rain-as-I'd-hoped-it-would-be grass under the yellow and white striped tent covering the back yard, I did, in fact, go back to sleep.
Then I woke up, got dressed by myself because my maid of honor had vanished, and decided I was hungry. And so, while the guests arrived and the rain became a drizzle became a sauna, I stood in my mother's kitchen, snarfing down little hot dogs wrapped in dough - pigs in a blanket, a staple at Jewish weddings, and yes, that makes it a weird name - as the caterers made sure I didn't drip mustard on my dress.
I remember G'ma being appalled.
School schedules and Bar Exams and new job start dates and finances and preferences precluded anything but a late August, totally humid (even if it hadn't rained all night), Sunday afternoon. G'ma made sure that the high school band cancelled their weekly practice on the field across the street. She found a rabbi to marry us, and the two of us, non-sectarian at best, knew that if we lived on Long Island we'd have joined his congregation. How could we resist a guy who showed up late because his tennis match ran late?
Friends hitchhiked all night, bringing uninvited but welcomed guests. They were tired, but they were
Cousins grown to young adulthood without my noticing, one grandmother snarling but present, my Bubba grabbing my hand as I walked back down the aisle, my drunken sister dancing while sleeping on the shoulder of a guy she should have married.... I hold these memories front and center in my brain.
Some sent telegrams - yes, actual yellow paper telegrams - expressing regrets that they were unable to share our day. There were two birthdays on the 25th which we celebrated with smaller cakes beside the whipped cream (not butter creme) filled three tiered yellow cake with fresh strawberries garnishing it everywhere. There was a one-man-band, with a keyboard and assorted bells and whistles but at least it wasn't an accordion player (yes, denizens, G'ma and I went to the mat on that one, believe you me......).
By the time we left, in a car decorated with cans (until the end of the street when TBG had had enough clatter to last a lifetime), the world's prettiest wedding dress sported a dark and muddy hem, impervious to dry cleaning techniques known at the time. After hours of partying on that wet grass, TBG had perspired through his suit coat and his tie. Poor guy, his only request had been that we not get married outside in the heat of the summer.
That was the first of many I can't believe I agreed to this moments. Over 4 decades (oh, dear God, 40 plus years!) there have been many of those moments.
I'm looking forward to 40 more.